A fresh start for Slaney
Upper Island Cove forward excited about trade
Robert Slaney says he’s really excited about his latest move in hockey.
Two years into his three-year contract with Toronto, the 22-year-old Upper Island Cove native was traded to the Nashville Predators from the Toronto Maple Leafs organization on July 3.
The six-foot-two-inch, 203-pound forward was traded to the Predators, along with defenceman Brett Lebda in exchange for Matthew Lombardi and Cody Franson.
Slaney said he “needed a change of scenery and I knew I had to get out of Toronto. Toronto was great for me, and they were good to me,” Slaney said, adding, “ but it was time for a new start.”
And he hopes Nashville will give him the fresh start he is looking for.
The Predators are taking over the final year of Slaney’s two-way contract, which would see him earn an NHL salary of $600,000, or a minor league salary of $65,000. The Predators’ minor league team is the Milwaukee Admirals of the American Hockey League.
— Upper Island Cove’s
Slaney is hopeful
Asked if he thinks he will end up playing for the Predators, Slaney, who has yet to play a game in the NHL, replied, “I sure hope so.
“After two years of pro experience, I’d like to make an impact and earn my way up the ranks.”
Slaney is spending the summer in St. John’s, where he is training four to five days a week with NHL trainer Bobber Thompson. Other than that he said he is just doing some golfing.
He will be heading to NHL training camp in September.
Slaney spent most of the last season playing for the East Coast Hockey League’s Reading Royals of Reading, Pennsylvania. He scored seven goals and had 17 assists in 61 games with the Royals.
The Toronto Maple Leafs signed Slaney to an entrylevel contract on April 12, 2009.
The left-winger became a free agent that year in a signing orchestrated by former Maple Leaf staff member Joe Nieuwendyk.
Slaney was awarded his contract after an impressive season with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles.
Leading Cape Breton with 81 points in 63 games, he also led in goals with 36. Slaney was having an impressive playoff before being injured. He scored five goals and had four assists in six playoff games.
In 239 career games with Cape Breton from 2005 to 2009, Slaney tallied 78 goals and 90 assists for a total of 168 points. In 2007-08, the successful Cape Breton University business student was named the Canadian Hockey League’s player of the year. He was also named the Screaming Eagles regular season scoring champ and won the fans’ choice award.
During the 2009-10 season, Slaney divided his time between the Toronto Marlies of the AHL and the Reading Royals.
Unable to impress Leafs’ brass in 34 games with the Marlies, he would register six assists before being sent down to Reading, where he would score a goal and record 10 assists in 22 matches with that ECHL club.
Slaney, who became eligible for draft in 2007, has been described by the Hockey Forum as, “a character forward with good size, who displays strong puck possession skills. His big body is able to shield the puck efficiently and open up space for teammates. He leads by example with a strong work ethic and is a team player.”
The son of Edith and Val Slaney of Upper Island Cove, Robert started playing hockey when he was three, and played CeeBees minor hockey in Harbour Grace before moving to play and study on the mainland.